What GHSA's new classification numbers could mean for local schools
The Georgia High School Association released reclassification alignment numbers today for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years. The numbers, which include a 2.0 multiplier applied to out-of-district enrollment students, place three of the five local schools in the Class AAAAA classification. Cartersville, Cass, and Woodland are all in the same classification which includes reclassification counts between just over 2,100 to 1,363. The classification also counts 56 total schools which would mean region assignments by geographic location will ideally include six to eight schools. Cartersville is listed with 1,467 in-district and 279 out-of-district students for a 1,746 total. With the multiplier, it is the largest local school in terms of reclassification applied numbers. Woodland is the next local school on the list with 1,489 in-district and 85 out-of-district for 1,574. Cass has 1,486 in-district and 35 out-of-district for a 1,521 total.
Cartersville is the 16th largest school in the classification by reclassification count. Woodland is 38th and Cass is 45th of the 56 schools. The largest school in Class AAAAA by reclassification count is Woodward Academy at 2,112. It is more than 300 students larger than the next two schools — Dutchtown and Forest Park at 1,802.
Although Cass is the 12th smallest school in the classification, the Bartow school’s reclassification count is less than 80 more than the smallest in the classification — Walnut Grove (1,444) and Mt. Zion-Jonesboro (1,445).
Based on logical geographic placement, the schools that would appear to fit with the three local schools for a region would include: Calhoun (1,481), Hiram (1,552), Villa Rica (1,651), and Kell (1,687). Chapel Hill (1,607) and Lithia Springs (1,627) are additional options if the region reaches further south.
Geographic regions will be established after schools have had an opportunity to appeal their classification placement. The appeals must be submitted by November 11 at 4 p.m. Hearings will be held Tuesday, November 12 regarding appeals and to hear from schools wishing to opt up in classification. Adairsville, with a reclassification count of 979 (954 in-district / 25 out-of-district) will remain in Class AAA where the school ranks 48th in size of 56 schools. Other schools within reasonable geographic range of Adairsville include Coahulla Creek (1,163; 67 out-of-district), Lafayette (1,133; 18 out-of-district), Sonoraville (1,122; 42 out-of-district), Murray County (1,076; 14 out-of-district), Lakeview-Ft.Oglethorpe (1,076; 63 out-of-district), Ringgold (1,070; 15 out-of-district), North Murray (1,023; 16 out-of-district), and Rockmart (972; 11 out-of-district). That entire list would result in a nine-school region which is not likely with 56 schools in the entire AAA classification. Rockmart is the southern-most school listed and speculation would likely send the Yellow Jackets to a region further south. That would leave seven former members of the current 6-AAA plus the addition of Lafayette.
The largest school in Class AAA is Salem with a reclassification count of 1,191 (7 out-of-district). The smallest school currently assigned to AAA is Westside-Augusta with a reclassification count of 941 (76 out-of-district).
Meanwhile, Excel Christian Academy is not effected by the reclassification numbers or out-of-district multiplier. The GHSA rules do not allow schools in Class A to be moved up in classification. The rules also do not allow schools in Class 6A to be moved into Class 7A due to the multiplier.
Excel is once again the smallest member school of GHSA’s Private School Class A division with 35 total students in grades 9-12. (Woody Gap and Georgia School for the Deaf are smaller, but are in the Public School Class A division.) Class A Private has 54 total schools. Holy Innocents’ is the largest with a reclassification count of 924.
A sample of Class A Private schools in proximity to Excel include: Darlington, Mt. Paran, North Cobb Christian, Walker, Christian Heritage, and others.
Next Tuesday’s meeting will bring some additional clarity to the region assignments. Schools choosing to “play-up” in classification will be determined and then Classifications 6A through 2A will be evenly distributed again. This means one or two of the largest or smallest schools in the current classification assignment listings could be altered. The GHSA Office will initially place schools in regions (and sub-regions if needed). The Reclassification Committee will then meet again this month to determine the final placement of schools. The decisions will be made public after that meeting. At that point, member schools will have seven days to request a lateral move to another region. Appeals will be heard in December. Any appeals denied by the Reclassification Committee in December will have a final appeal available in early January before the entire Executive Committee.